"'I don't want to be a girl, Uncle Tom. I want to be a boy. A girl's all kissing and dolls. I don't want to be a girl. I don't want to.'" -Mary by way of John Steinbeck's East of Eden.
There are very few foods out there that have absorbed as much emotional bankruptcy as the cupcake.They seem to be uniquely capable of assuaging the wounds of the sexually rejected. When the omnipresent “HE” has ceased calling, stopped dropping by, or begun committing whatever other crimes a disinterested man is capable of, the cupcake is a go-to. I have also found them to be an adept tool at combating job loss, parental disagreements, unequivocal self loathing, seasonal blues, and general boredom. Why should the cupcakes role as the ultimate emotional salve be important at this particular moment? No reason! Let's just say that I was justifiably intrigued by an invitation to experiment with cupcake batter from an ambitious wanting-to-open-a-bakery friend. I appeared promptly at her doorstep, aching to lose myself in the girlish oblivion of powdered sugar and flower petals.
For this recipe, you will need:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon rosewater
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A handful of individual rose petals
A bit of powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the muffin tin with cooking spray and set it aside for later. It is important to get this stuff out of the way immediately, as in your emotionally decimated state you may begin to cry irrationally when you realize you have to wait an extra ten minutes before you can start to bake.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl, a bit at a time, and beat steadily until smooth. Bring the milk and rosewater to a boil in a small pan, then add the warm mixture to the batter in a slow stream, beating continually. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Make sure that all the ingredients are well combined.
Pour the batter into the muffin tin, and slide the cupcakes into the oven for about 15 minutes. The time that it takes the muffins to bake and then cool upon eventual removal is perfect for preparing the decorative rose petals. For this part, having a few fresh roses on hand will do the trick just right. Carefully peel the petals off (he loves me, he loves me not, etc). Rinse them with luke-warm water and pat dry. Brush each individual petal with egg whites, using a pastry brush and an extremely delicate touch. Once they are evenly coated, dust them with finely powdered sugar and lay them out to dry for at least an hour. When the cupcakes have finished baking and have been iced, place a few petals atop each frosty mountain for a nice finishing touch.